If you read a lot of self-improvement blogs like I do then you’ve probably heard of the concept of taking hourly breaks to improve productivity and reduce stress. And if you’re like me, it sounds great in theory, but in reality I don’t really do it. Why? I think maybe it’s because I don’t know what to do during that time. Certainly 5-10 minutes of meditation would be great, but most people’s work is already so cerebral, how about something physical instead? Here’s what I started doing and I love it!
Ok, so instead of taking some downtime to meditate or walk around, which I never really got into, I started doing this instead.
I get down on the floor and do some stretching. I let my body lead the way in terms of what it needs.
I do a set or two of the big six body-weight exercises that are featured in “Convict Conditioning: How to Bust Free of All Weakness-Using the Lost Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength” by Paul “Coach” Wade. That would be either:
- leg lifts
- air squats
- handstand pushups
By doing this I kill two birds with one stone. I totally rejuvenate myself to go back to my mental work, and I get all my calisthenics done for the day -throughout the day. When I’m done with work, I’m also done with my calisthenics for the day. (Unless I want to do more)
I’ve stopped going to the gym to lift weights. Instead I solely use body-weight exercises instead to build muscle. It is so gratifying. No driving to the gym, waiting for machines, and you build what Wade calls “functional strength,” the type of strength that relates to things you need to do in life.
I’m a girl, a runner and a dancer. I’m not looking to become Miss Olympia. (But if you want to build big muscles you can tailor this to do that too.) I want to build some muscle and build strength. This is the optimal way to do it. Each exercise works multiple muscles at the same time, including the smaller balancing muscles. Isolating individual muscles with weight lifting can lead to inadvertent unbalanced muscles.
I get stronger each week. And I’m able to do it with my 10 year old son. He loves it. Because it’s bodyweight it doesn’t put stress on his body that is too much for him.
If you’re interested, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s simple, no-nonsense, and with several levels of modifications for beginners to work their way up. No matter what you are trying to achieve with your muscles, these exercises can get you there.
Yeah, But…..How Can I Do This at Work?
Just do it! Enlist another co-worker to do it with you! It’ll make it more fun and pretty soon your whole office will want to join you! Go for it. Let me know if it works! Seriously, you’ll love it.
Start out with small sets of whatever you can do. Use the modifications if you need them. And if you want to be inspired, keep in mind that Herschel Walker has been doing these most of his life. He does approx 1000-2000 of each per day. (He does situps not leg lifts, but they work the same muscles.)
Do you take breaks? How do you spend them? What impact does it have for you?
Looking forward to hearing from you in the comments below or perhaps on Twitter or Facebook. Links are below.